n. the state of being partway between single and married; an indefinite period of time where you plan and put off the seemingly inevitable.
For a female partner, this period of time is filled with moodiness, piles of bridal magazines, and excessive showing off to her friends and family. She alternates between showering you with grateful affection and mercilessly hounding you to make sure you "truly love her". Often, the simplest question -- such as "what do you want from the grocery store?" -- provokes a fit of insecurity and accusations about you cheating on her "with that slutty stocker in aisle 9". She will also ask you peculiar and often terrifying questions, such as how many kids you want to have ("six or seven?"), in an attempt to secure certainty of your complete sincerity and fidelity.
At other times, she will obsessively plan out every detail of your wedding without your explicit consent. Do not be taken aback by her behavior -- she has had practice with this since she started fantasizing about her wedding at about the age of seven.
You will also often see her surrounded by other women, usually her close friends and members of her family, all weeping in joy or clamoring to see that damned expensive ring you got her. At this time, they will tend to squeal and cry at random times and speak in their own cryptic language. Warning: do not attempt to approach such a hoarde of women. Such an action would not only be suicidal but also extremely stupid. See "The ...
(1) in war it is a battle
(2) in courtship it is a surrender
(1) Captain Kirk said, "Mr. Scott, I need more power! Prepare for battle engagement!"
(2) I can't believe John gave up his life like that, now that girls sucked him into engagement. Sad...
A calculated decision made to prevent others from encroaching on territory held by proposer of engagement. Simultaneously marking all call options held to zero in the process. Antonym: See "True Love"
I will have to have an engagement contract with Jan if she gets into HBS. You guys don't know how bad the ratio is over there.
The period when a nieve couple, who thinks they are in love or has the ability to “live on love,” crosses the line from dating to planning marriage. It is an awkward time for the couple. They take weeks/months or God forbid, even years, to plan the rest of their lives. The bride-to-be scrounges Modern Bride Magazine and the internet for planning every detail of HER wedding from getting the best dress, the best hairdo, who her bridesmaids will be (and you can bet that one of them is probably sleeping with the groom-to-be), how to plan the ceremony, the invitations, the band, guests, the cake, etc. All this, while the groom-to-be just sits back and takes it in stride while bragging to his buddies that he is going to get to finally “score” whenever he wants without feeling guilty (forgetting the fact that he hopes his bride-to-be will never find out he’s screwing one of the future bridesmaids and having to get a home pregnancy test). The groom-to-be, knowing he will soon not be single anymore, has an all out effort to go to as many bars, nightclubs or strip joints with his buddies while he cant to find all the girls he can F before committing to “the one.” Its basically a time when the couple, especially the bride-to-be, are in Oz before coming back down to reality and discovering they hate each other 6-months later.
Engagement is often the time of indecision, insecurity and stress BUT worth it if the couple is right for each other. Otherwise, just do the easy thing and get married in Vegas for $100.